The Wooden Spoon bakes eco-friendly baked goods in Clear Lake


At The Wooden Spoon, rolling by hand is an art.

With the exception of the reliable Kitchen Aid 5-quart mixer, you won’t find many machines or shortcuts in the kitchen at this eco-friendly online bread and baking marketplace.

From its locally sourced 100% organic ingredients to the old-fashioned and specific preparation process of a home kitchen, everything about The wooden spoon is as minimalist as possible.

For co-owners Samantha Smith and Umar Ahmad, the business model had to align with their own personal environmentally conscious philosophy.

“The idea behind the market is that we don’t want to be part of the problem,” said Smith, who has a background in environmental science.

Based in the Clear Lake area, the bakery ensures that all of its products are carefully packaged with biodegradable and/or recyclable materials.

“We wrap everything up, so nothing we use goes out into the world to spend years in the environment,” Smith said.

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The Wooden Spoon specializes in a wide variety of pastries and breads, including authentically prepared French pastries. The rotating menu includes different types of croissants, scones and muffins with raspberry and lavender flavors, pies made with homemade jams, sourdough breads, brioches and ciabattas and honey bread.

Since its inception in early 2020, just weeks before the pandemic hit, The Wooden Spoon has found its niche in farmers’ markets in the surrounding Houston area, including regular spots at Braeswood Farmers Market and the East End. Farmers Market. More recently, the bakery has established its brand in brick-and-mortar stores, such as The Art of Coffee in its Clear Lake, Kemah and La Marque locations and Pearland Coffee Roasters, with another location in Pasadena that is in preparation.

At one point, Smith and Ahmad were cooking for multiple markets at once using the single 5-quart blender.

“I was making 32 French baguettes, 20 sourdough breads, my chiropractor said I was making too much,” she said. More machines would make things easier and more convenient, Smith said, but it would take something away from the original concept.

For Smith and Ahmad, it’s not just about the end product.

Bakers take their time with every recipe: starting with sourcing grains, making their own flour, and being precise. For example, different breads and doughs should be treated differently.

“It all depends on the process,” Smith said. “I love the challenge it presents.”

The ultimate success for the market, Smith said, would be to never be driven solely by profit.

Smith and Ahmad are exploring opportunities to work and sell in their own store, and there are plans to run cooking classes and create and maintain a community garden while encouraging others to be environmentally friendly.

“The ultimate success of our business would never be about profit,” Smith said. “If we have enough to support ourselves, all of the following is fine, but not necessary. We also hope to buy some land with the extra profit in the future to set up a small shop there and create a community garden where customers can come and collect fresh produce from the garden in exchange for pulling a weed or two, everyone helps to maintain the garden and everyone can use it These are the hopes we have for our company.

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